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This could be the US Air Force’s next spy plane

This could be the US Air Force’s next spy plane

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The US Air Force has been locked in a years-long battle over the retirement of the famous U-2 spy plane. In the meantime, Lockheed Martin has unveiled what could be the successor to the U-2. It's called the TR-X, and it could be ready as early as 2025, according to Lockheed.

The image you see above was released by Lockheed at an Air Force Association conference this week, and it's important to note that it is just an artist’s impression. There are few details on the plane's specifications or mission, beyond the knowledge that the TR-X concept was developed by Lockheed's advanced development arm (known as Skunk Works). But Flightglobal reports that it would be more powerful, could be configured for communication, electronic warfare, and outfitted with offensive or defensive laser weapons.

There's also no clear decision on whether it will be piloted or not, another sore topic that the Los Angeles Times recently explored in great detail. But if you wanted a glimpse at what the future of spy planes look like, now you have it.